FORT WORTH, Texas -- With the construction of the new Dickies Arena underway, Fort Worth's beautiful skyline is changing, along with the public's understanding of just how much the arena will cost.
For years now, $450 million was the figure used to describe the project's price tag. As of Tuesday, during a pre-council meeting, that figure jumped by $90 million.
"The final project cost is $540 million," Assistant City Manager Susan Alanis said in the meeting.
Matt Homan, president of the new arena's operating entity, says the additional costs may be a surprise to readers, but it's not a surprise to them.
"We anticipated the $450 million was not going to scratch the surface on what this new arena’s gonna be," Homan said.
He says the $450 million covers construction of the arena and parking garage. What is doesn't include are other improvements, such as surface parking, street lights and landscaping.
He says his organization has been aware of the additional $90 million in costs for months, and recently shared that news with the city. Tuesday was the first time the figure was used publicly.
But both Homan and Alanis remind taxpayers the public's financial contribution is capped at $225 million. Anything over that is covered by private donors.
"I think we’re getting a beautiful facility, and it’s a philanthropic gift we can be proud of," Alanis said.
The updated price tag makes Dickies Arena more expensive than the American Airlines Center in Dallas and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The AAC seats 20,000 people, while Dickies will seat less than 15,000.
"I'll tell you, from the beginning -- we’ve always known this was going to be a first-class facility, and they weren’t gonna scrimp on any of the materials," Alanis said.
The arena is set to open in 2019.